A Minnesota state trooper who was named an all-star in 2008 for making 123 DWI arrests now finds himself on the wrong side of the law.
Trooper Chris Alan Daas, 39, was stopped by Fridley police for allegedly driving while impaired at 3 a.m. Thursday on the 7600 block of University Avenue NE. after police had received a call about a motorist who had hit several signs on nearby Osborne Road, said Lt. Ryan George.
Upon arrival, officers found a black pickup stuck in the median, where it had sustained major wheel and axle damage. A citizen caller told police he saw the vehicle driving westbound in the eastbound lane of Osborne Road before striking three street signs and jumping the curb, according to a criminal complaint filed by the Fridley city attorney.
Officers identified the driver by his Minnesota license and smelled alcohol on his breath. When asked how much he had to drink, Daas stated “too much,” according to the complaint. He refused a field sobriety test to determine his blood alcohol content and was arrested.
Daas was charged Friday with fourth- and third-degree DWI — refusal to submit to a chemical test, a misdemeanor and gross misdemeanor, respectively.
He is off the job and will remain on paid leave until criminal and internal investigations are complete, said Lt. Tiffani Nielson.
Daas has been a trooper since March 2004. He previously was the subject of one conduct complaint that resulted in a five-day suspension in 2011. He has received one lifesaving award, one meritorious service award and one letter of commendation, said Col. Matt Langer of the State Patrol.
“State troopers are dedicated to removing impaired drivers from the road, and that’s why this incident is disturbing,” Langer said. “Chris Daas’ alleged behavior does not reflect our core values as an organization, nor does it demonstrate our expectations for troopers, whether on- or off-duty.”
Daas is due in Anoka County District Court on June 14.
Staff writer Liz Sawyer contributed to this report.